Motivating students can be a tricky business but is a crucial component of private teaching. From motivating them to start private tutoring at home, to motivating them to succeed in their exams, it can be a long process that needs lots of attention and encouragement.

The initial motivation for your student has to start withhow you advertise your home tutoring services. Strong, informative marketing materials such as business cards, flyers and adverts will attract prospective students to your business.

Good use of social media will also get prospective students and parents interested in private tutoring generate further tutor jobs. Some students might not actually even consider tutoring before seeing a flyer or post, so your advert could motivate their decision. Seeing your success stories of other students, for example, could motivate them to achieve the same.

Catching students’ attention is the first step, so make sure you have given all of the following information to help their decision:

  • Previous experience and successes, both academic and professional
  • Any qualifications or certificates
  • How much you charge per session
  • Where you are based and where you will tutor
  • Any terms and conditions of your service
  • Your contact details

You can also provide a professional photo of yourself, which some students and parents like to see when considering a private tutor.

For many students, private tutoring can be quite challenging financially. If you offer reasonable prices and a great service, you will instantly inspire them to consider tutoring to boost their grades.

So now that you’ve caught your student’s attention, and have organised your first session, you will need to prepare yourself so that you can motivate your student to start learning with ease and enthusiasm!

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Take a friendly and professional approach!
Motivational marketing materials will inspire prospective students. Source: Visualhunt

How Can I Prepare to Give Private Tuition?

You can start preparing for your sessions by finding out what motivates your student on a personal level, which can often help you plan how you will approach your tutoring sessions.

Does your student have an intrinsic motivation for the subject, meaning they have a personal interest and really want to study something in particular? This could be a student wanting to learn a new instrument or language for fun.

Or maybe your student is extrinsically motivated to learn – meaning that more external factors such as getting into a good university or getting a reward is what motivates them to study and succeed.

As a tutor, you will want to encourage an intrinsic motivation in your students. This can take time and patience, but it could make all the difference to your student's grades and academic performance.

A great home tutoring session requires lots of preparation. A student can only be as motivated as their teacher, so a tutor needs to be enthusiastic and creative in their approach to each session.

If you have done your research and prepared appropriate resources, your student will find it easier to settle in and start learning. 

You should start by doing some research on relevant texts, syllabuses and exam boards where necessary. Asking your student before the session about any problem areas is a good way to get ready, giving you time to prepare a lesson and any resources.

If your student is preparing for entrance exams at university such as LNAT, MAT, BMAT, ELAT or MLAT, for example, preparation is more particular and might require wider research. Going to these lengths for your student could make all the difference and drive them to success.

Communication is key to keeping your lessons appropriate and motivating your student. Well-planned lessons based on your student's weaknesses will let your student know that you listen and pay close attention to their needs.

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How Can I Provide a Successful Tutoring Session?

Think outside the box!
Get creative with your lesson plans and resources. Source: Visualhunt

In building up a relationship with your student, you will learn how they work best and what they need the most help with. By listening carefully and asking questions, you can put together great lessons that are tailored specifically to the student's individual needs.

Remember that the subject you are teaching is the subject your student might find the most difficult – they might even really dislike it!

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It’s your job, then, to get them to enjoy and excel in your area of expertise. As you’ve seen, preparation is key to getting the ball rolling and starting to teach your student. The main challenge you’ll face is keeping them interested and motivated to learn something that doesn’t come naturally to them.

Although you don’t need any qualifications to become a private tutor, you need to have a passion in your subject, and have a flair for teaching. As an expert, you will be able to answer your student’s questions and encourage a wide knowledge – and interest – in your subject.

When tutoring students for exams, a good knowledge of their set texts and syllabuses is crucial. This might mean doing extra reading of primary and secondary texts in order to teach their curriculum well.

There are always risks involved with working for yourself and providing a service. Consider reading up on your responsibilities and securing your business if a claim should be made against you.

If you don’t have much knowledge of what your student is learning, or you haven’t prepared an appropriate lesson plan or teaching strategy, it will show. If your student can see that you aren’t making much effort, or you aren’t teaching them as they need, then they will not be happy, and probably won’t book another session.

Your student might find school difficult, and the classroom environment might not suit their way of learning. For example, they might find that their maths or science curriculum is taught too fast and they need to focus more attention on a particular area and catch up.

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Make your sessions stimulating and fun!
Sometimes the classroom environment can be disconcerting. Source: Visualhunt

A great tutoring session will tune into the student’s individual way of learning, and focus on the areas that they find difficult. You might create some worksheets or use visual aids to teach these points.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Ask your student how they found the session, and if they feel as though they understand the topic a bit more now. Ask if there is anything they want to go over again next time, or if there are any other problems that you should move on to.

You can also liaise with the parent to make sure they are happy with your services, and if there is anything they feel needs adjusting or extra focus.

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There are a few simple steps to making every lesson successful:

  • Get to know your student
  • Set clear objectives and have realistic expectations of what can be achieved
  • Create a calm and positive environment for your student
  • Offer a variety of learning techniques
  • Give positive, constructive feedback and praise
  • Encourage an intrinsic motivation in your student

If you follow these steps, your online tutoring jobs London, in the Uk or online are guaranteed to be fun and motivating for your student.

Personalising your teaching methods and using a variety of activities encourage an interest from your student and can change negative attitudes towards difficult subjects.

To a certain extent, you can put your student in the driver’s seat. You can let them dictate the content of the session, and allow them to show you what they need from you. Giving them control of how and what they learn will spark interest and fuel their incentive to persevere.

It is also a good idea to set goals with your student. This might mean aiming for an A grade in an upcoming exam, for example. Setting high but realistic goals will show your student that you have faith in them, and will give them confidence.

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Where Can You Find Resources to Motivate Students to Learn?

Many students find that the traditional school classroom is not a helpful learning environment. Endless sheets and PowerPoints can be dull and difficult, and repel students further from their subjects.

It’s important, then, that you use your flair and passion for teaching to transform your student’s experience of the subjects they find tricky. As a tutor, you will be creative, encouraging and thoughtful in your approach to teaching.

This will mean finding new ways to teach. Your student might not know yet how they learn best, but, as the expert, you can find out. Trialling various methods, such as worksheets, visual aids, videos and memory aids will help both of you learn what works best.

Although it’s good to know the syllabus and textbook content, you don’t have to be imprisoned by it! Teach in a way that you know is successful, and will give your student the best learning experience.

There are ample resources to explore and use in your sessions. YouTube videos, games, songs, problem-solving, and practise tests are just a few of the options you can look at.

As long as it’s age appropriate, you can show your student how fun and exciting your subject can be.

As an online tutor, other online resources are useful to give your student an expansive home tuition service when you cannot work one to one in person.

For example, if you are a French tutor teaching your student French conjugations or a science tutor the stages of cell division in biology, you might find a song or rhyme to work as a memory aid for your student.

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Get your students interested in their studies!
Use a variety of activities and teaching methods to motivate your students. Source: Flickr

You might put together the perfect essay-writing guide to help your students with structure, writing technique and proofreading skills.

When tutoring science subjects, you might be able to conduct small experiments in your home, or put together material models, that can help your student visualise what they are learning and maximise their understanding.

Make note of what your student enjoys and what helps them to best understand the topic. Catching on quickly to their way of learning will keep your student interested and motivated to keep moving towards success.

Want more information about working for yourself as a personal tutor? Read up on how to report you income as a 1 to 1 tutor and obtaining a DBS check for your tutoring business.

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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.